This randomised controlled trial was conducted to compare zolpidem to an equivalent dose of temazepam with respect to subjective rebound insomnia after cessation of 4 weeks of treatment in chronic insomnia (zolpidem 10 mg, n=79; temazepam 20 mg, n=84). Both agents improved total sleep time (TST) as well as sleep onset latency (SOL) significantly during the 4 treatment weeks. Prevalence rates for rebound insomnia, defined as a worsening of TST or SOL of more than 40% compared to baseline, were 27% for TST and 53% for SOL in the Zolpidem condition and 26% and 58%, respectively, in the temazepam condition. No significant differences were found between both agents with respect to rebound insomnia, nor with respect to their efficacy or safety. We conclude that in clinical practice zolpidem has no advantages over temazepam with respect to rebound insomnia.